- Esperance de Tunis claimed their third CAF Champions League title
- Tunisian international Anice Badri finished as top scorer
- Esperance will appear at the FIFA Club World Cup for a second time
Tunisia’s Esperance de Tunis have written a new chapter in African football history by clinching their third CAF Champions League title. Back at the continental summit after a seven-year wait, Les Sang et Or (the Blood and Gold) can now look forward to the world’s biggest club competition, having secured a berth at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 next month.
The Tunis side’s players and fans were hugely motivated to lift the trophy this time around. Esperance have finished runners-up on four occasions and were desperate to avoid a repeat of their most recent trip to the final, which ended in a loss to Al Ahly at their own Stade Olympique de Rades home in 2012. Facing the Egyptian outfit in the decider once again, Esperance were determined to manufacture a different outcome and seize the title for the first time since 2011.
Above all, they were able to draw confidence from an excellent campaign. Esperance were the first team to seal a spot in the quarter-finals after just four group stage games and they promptly marked themselves out as favourites by seeing off ES Sahel in a Tunisian derby. They then fought back from a first-leg defeat at the hands of Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto in the semi-finals by triumphing 4-2 at home before digging deep again in the showpiece. Following a 3-1 reverse in Egypt, Les Sang et Or put in an impressive performance to defeat Al Ahly 3-0 in Rades and claim the mantle of African club champions.
Esperance’s road to glory
- Contested 16 games over the course of their campaign
- Registered nine wins, four draws, and three defeats
- Scored 26 goals (1.63 per game) and conceded 12 times